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What I Ride – Mike Hinkens

Mike Hinkens has all the makings of a classic Midwest street rider—except he’s currently living in Ecuador. Although his location is different, his bike and style have remained largely unchanged—only slightly refined—for the last decade. In this hyper changing world, it’s refreshing to see that some riders can stick to their guns long enough to be called classic. Peep Mike’s classic ride built up from FBM, Madera, and Profile parts.

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 155 lbs.
Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Sponsors: Madera, FBM

Frame: FBM Hardway V2, 21”
Fork: FBM CB4K
Bars: FBM Black Flag 4-Piece, 9” rise
Stem: Madera Mast, 48mm reach
Grips: Vans X Cult flangeless
Barends: Odyssey Par-ends
Headset: FBM
Seatpost: FBM Pivotal
Seat: Madera Mid Pivotal
Pedals: Eclat AK
Cranks: Profile 19mm, 165mm
BB: Madera Mid
Sprocket: Madera Signet Bash,19mm Spline Drive, 25tooth
Chain: Shadow Conspiracy V2 Interlock
Front Tire: BSD Donasqueak 2.4”
Front Wheel: Sun Rhyno Lite XL laced to a Madera Pilot Hub with 3/8 axle with14mm hex heads and Madera C4 delrin (plastic) guards.
Rear Tire: BSD Donasqueak 2.4”
Rear Wheel: Sun Rhyno Lite XL laced to a Madera V2 Cassette, 14mm GDH Chromo Axle, 9-T titanium driver (RHD). Madera C4 non-drive side delrin (plastic) guard and Primo drive-side guard
Pegs: Stolen Silencer plastic, 4.4”

First thing about your bike that strikes me is the cassette hub. Why haven’t you made the switch to a freecoaster like most other street riders have?
Because I am old! And, I don’t think I need it! There are very few fakie tricks that I think, “Man, I wish I could do this, but I need a coaster.” I have always loved to go fakie and I just made the cassette work for me as much as I could. And, I rely too much on pedal pressure. So many of my favorite tricks are based on pedal pressure. For where I am in my riding, I still feel like I have a million things to learn and changing the way my bike works now would just make it more complex. There are plenty of tricks I can do and plenty of tricks I want to learn that work just fine or only with a cassette. In addition, back-manuals and full-cabs have always been my bread and butter, but not because they are a “trick” in and of themselves, but rather because they are a great way to get in and out of other tricks and lines. The change to freecoasters had kind of elevated these tricks (due to how much different they are on a coaster) and I don’t really feel like re-learning or changing the base of many of my lines and tricks to accommodate a different hub and the different way it makes some building block tricks feel. And in the end, I just don’t like the way it feels. I love the feel of a back-pedaling backwards manual and the tricks that can happen out of them due to pedal pressure. The slack makes me feel like my bike is broken and throws a wrench in the connection I feel to my bike due to the delayed response you have to adapt to when adjusting to slack.

I know your main reason for switching to plastic pegs is pretty specific, would you mind explaining it?
Use the right tool for the right job. Plastic and metal pegs serve different purposes. Metals are great for rails, sub-boxes, and unwaxed grimey ledges. Plastics are great for waxed ledges and tech lines. When I was living in Milwaukee, we rode Midwestern Rust Belt spots, so I wanted my 4.5” metal Animal pegs to slide down old steel rails and ride big concrete sub-boxes. Now, where I live in Ecuador, almost all of the spots I ride are ledge plazas made of plaster, so you need a gentle touch as well as a fast sliding peg to get super tech on the tight and complex ledge setups. I love the feel of a metal peg grind on a metal rail, but there are very few rails by me, so it doesn’t make sense to ride a peg that would make tech ledge riding harder. When I go on an FBM trip though, I put the metals back on because we will most-likely be shredding some raw steel pipe.

What is the oldest part on your bike?
My Madera Mid seat is 3-4 years old. It is simple and has lasted forever so I just keep it.

Other than tubes, what do you change out most often?
Grips. It’s hot as hell where I live in South America and I rip through grips all day when they are soft and warm from the sun. I have to say though, my use of tubes and tires cannot be ignored. I put a lot of miles on my bike when exploring the city, so I wear tires out fast and get flats all the time due to my worn tires. I am still a fan of patching tubes though, so I just run it!

Describe your bike for us… What makes it your ride?
My bike has not changed much over the last ten years. Since I started riding for Madera ten years ago, I have been ordering the same parts aside from color changes. I have attempted to lower my seat to make my bike look a little nicer, but it seems that incremental change over a long time was not fast enough and now it’s cool to have a high seat again right when mine is at its all-time lowest! (Not that low, though). In addition, my bar angle has always been a little bit back, but I have been slowly bringing them forward. I am super touchy and meticulous, so to most people, my bars probably don’t look like they have moved at all in ten years and they still probably look back, but to me, they are more forward than they ever have been. Also, I never move my bars after I put them in the stem. I travel with the stem on the bars and if they move I will stress about the angle for hours. Funny thing is, whenever I build my bike, new or while traveling, I put tape on the seat post so I know exactly where it was. I am not too picky about tire pressure though, but I need it higher than lower. If I run anything less than 65psi, I will peel my tires off the bead due to all of my rotations and back manuals.

How often do you work on your bike? Do you like it keep it super-dialed or do you let get sloppy and just get used to it?
I only work on it when I have to, but it needs to be dialed. It may look beat up, but everything is ALWAYS super tight and crisp. My chain is usually super tight and sounds like it is pulling teeth off of my sprocket—no crankflips for me! If things bend though (like my pedals or bars), I usually just keep running them and pretend it didn’t happen.

Are there any things in the works with Madera that you can mention?
Yes! Pretty excited to have Madera cranks back on my bike soon. Love my Profiles, but I obviously want to rep the whole Madera line. Many of us on the team have been running Profile cranks because we want shorter crank arms for foot clearance, strength, and better opposite spinning. Unfortunately, Madera was unable to make shorter arms in their classic Protocol cranks for a while, so we were running short Profile arms. In the next few weeks we will have shorter Madera arms, but… on a 22mm spindle! We are super stoked to have 22mm cranks available in short sizes and make them available at a low price for all the people who have been asking for 22mm Madera cranks! Also, we are working on a Madera coaster hub based on the Z-Coaster technology. It has been our goal to figure out how to get the cost down on the bad-ass Z-Coaster as well as offer a coaster from Madera. Though I won’t be riding it, the whole team is testing (and loving) them. We hope to have them out by the end of summer!